Progress is simply defined as forward motion. Not to say that the old axiom - two steps forward and one step back is not (absolutely) a thing. But, even when that is true, you are still making headway. It may feel like you are moving at a snail's pace, and at that moment, looking down at your feet, you can't really see how far you have come - however if you take a moment to gaze back at everything, you have achieved, it becomes apparent.
I feel like we are at that point at DRC, as well as the country at large. To think I started the process of creating DRC just nine years ago is insane. Two facilities later, with 46 kids actively participating (right now), more than 20 that are homeschooling on their own with our help, and over 200 young people served at one point or another, we have definitely made some progress. Yet, I always feel like we are constantly brainstorming creative solutions to get around, over, under, or through the obstacles placed strategically in our path.
And as a country, we have made great strides in so many areas. Although, right now, it feels like we are not just taking one step backward, but an entire century worth of teeny, tiny steps are being pulled out from beneath us like the table cloth trick - leaving major human rights sitting bare and unprotected on the table.
It really is unfair to compare the two, I know. In the case of DRC, we, the stakeholders, are in charge of making changes that will move us - and our student members positively into the future.
Our country, it seems, is not so fortunate. A few (feel free to insert expletives here, if you are so inclined) are making really bad (horrible, no good) decisions for the majority that will have a detrimental effect on us all - but most especially the kids (I am honored to spend my days with) - for years to come.
No, this is not a politically motivated post - it is an expression of my deep fury and frustration that the word progress has become a four-letter word, and somehow, hypocrisy is not. Since when has empathy, compassion, basic kindness, vision, creativity, and ingenuity become the enemy? Let me guess... was it when we attached the word Progressive to them? (Yes, I am not unaware that this is the moment where the word irony comes into play.)
Progress is not just about making obscene amounts of money. (Which, in case you were not cognizant, is the real reason for our heedless slide back into the early Twentieth Century.) It is about making supportive changes and challenging the status quo for the health and general well-being - of everyone in society - building up and protecting human rights - not tearing them down.
To be clear, progress is not the enemy. Full stop. Let's think about who and what we should be united with, not against.
Photo #1: A is greasing the mini cupcake tins. #2: S is collecting dust as a contaminant to replicate the mold growing bio experiment for the 3rd time after we had more questions we wanted to answer. #3: C brought in her painted turtle and gave a presentation. #4: E helped to bring bottles and cans to the Redemption Center twice this past week. We have collected a total of over $100 for the DRC-East Fund. #5: L&E played on the Seedlings floor creating imaginary worlds.
Weekly Creative Meditation
We will be partying in the park in two weeks! Have you missed live music events? Join us for the day and get your groove back!
Enormous gratitude to Sal Sarmiento for helping to plan our day of music, for DJ-ing for the first hour and playing didgeridoo for the Drum Circle Jam session. A Huge thank you to Catie Dominy for providing percussion for the drum circle. And shouts of thanks out to the members of the three bands (River Mohawk Band, Playback, and Downtown) who will be playing all afternoon.
Come and dance, sing along, and soak up all those live music vibes to help our East Peeps purchase their new home.
We are also still accepting registration forms from vendors.
As a run up to the fundraiser we are spotlighting all of our DRC kids and posting them on social media. If you missed them, find the reflections, here. (Check back frequently over the next weeks as Angie and I write them.)
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